Key Features

Wadi is an evolutionary and flexible programme with some key features:

  • Wadi is ideally suited for implementation in areas with a large tribal population, dependant on produce from under-utilised and degraded lands, and forest resources.
  • Wadi is a multi-component programme. The core component of the programme is agro-horti-forestry systems on small, family-owned plots: fruit trees are grown in plots, multi-purpose tree species (MPTS) are planted along boundaries and cultivation of food crops is done in spaces between the fruit trees. Other key components of the programme are: soil and water conservation, water resource development, promotion of agro-business and allied livelihoods, developing quality of life, and promoting people’s organisations.
  • Wadi is a long-term programme, requiring substantial and long-term presence of the implementing agency in the programme area, for providing required techno-managerial support and close coordination of a large number of field activities. Implementation of a Wadi programme typically takes 5 to 7 years, and some support may have to be provided by the implementing agency even after the end of this period.
  • Wadi is a grant programme with credit component. Saplings and inputs for maintenance of fruit trees for a period of 5 years are provided free to participating families, along with some wage support. Grant or credit support is advanced to some landless families and people’s organisations (POs) like self help groups (SHGs) to start businesses. In the post-establishment stage of Wadi, credit is provided to Wadi-plot holders, to purchase inputs, bring more area under cultivation, install irrigation facilities, etc.
  • Wadi is a flexible programme built around the core agro-horti-forestry component. The way in which different components are rolled out can vary according to local conditions, role of other agencies, and budgetary and other parameters.
  • Wadi is an evolutionary programme. The way Wadi is being implemented by BAIF today is considerably different from the way BAIF initiated Wadi in tribal areas of South Gujarat in the 1980s. Wadi evolution has occurred in response to the need for developing a holistic programme in a rural setting, changing conditions, learning from experience, new and emerging challenges, and requirements of sponsors.
  • Wadi is a participatory programme. People are not passive recipients of development agency support in a Wadi programme. They are involved in planning and are the key players in implementation.
  • Wadi recognises the role of women in development. Women are active participants in various stages of the programme and the ownership share of women in Wadi plots is recognised.
  • Wadi is an environmentally sustainable programme. Regeneration of precious natural resources like soil, water and tree cover is one of the basic outcomes of a well implemented Wadi programme.
  • Wadi involves building backward and forward linkages to markets, for procurement of inputs and sale of produce.
  • Wadi involves maximum use of local manpower resources. All manpower needs for developing and maintaining agro-horti-forestry systems, doing soil and water conservation works, and developing water resources are met by participating families, who are provided wage support. Use of hired, externally-procured labour is not part of the Wadi design. Machinery like excavators are used only when absolutely necessary.
  • Wadi promotes demystification of technology. Poor families living in remote areas learn the principles and techniques of soil and water conservation, efficient water use, horticulture management, value-addition of farm produce, grafting and improved agriculture.
  • Wadi facilitates integration of useful local traditions and cultural practices with development goals. For example, in tribal regions of South Gujarat, the local `Wavli’ tradition, which gives a woman sovereign right over her earning, has been used to promote a number of enterprises among women, and women’s self-help groups.
  • As a long-term and multi-component programme, Wadi provides good scope for convergence with other development efforts and agencies, as well as micro finance institutions, banks, agriculture universities, research institutions, processing industries and trading businesses. For example, there is good scope for convergence with government and non-government agencies involved in community and preventive health, implementation of drinking water schemes, afforestation, and development of food processing and other agro-based industries.
  • As a participatory programme that makes maximum use of locally available resources, Wadi provides good scope for local innovation. Areas where local innovation has effectively been used in Wadi projects include development of water resources, and protection and maintenance of fruit trees.

Women play a key role in Wadi projectsWomen play a key role in Wadi projects

Tribal families in remote areas learn techniques like grafting Tribal families in remote areas learn techniques like grafting

See also:
FAQ: Can Wadi be converged with programmes like MREGS?

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